A mission statement is a key tool that can be as important as your business plan. It captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business's goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community.

The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community. To read more, click here

 
 
Meetings are a major pain point for many of my clients striving to achieve organizational health. The remedy, however, is not fewer meetings; it's more regular and specific ones. Sounds fun, right? Let me explain.

The real work of teams is done in meetings. If you're developing a new marketing plan, for example, you can do that through an email exchange, a series of one-on-one sessions, or a team meeting. Each of those will have different outcomes, with the team meeting the most effective -- both from a time and a result standpoint. To read more, click here. 

 
 
Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the ridiculously high percentage of small businesses that will fail in the first couple years.  The business owners who survived the odds will tell you that they didn’t achieve success on sheer passion alone.  It took hard work, and in most situations, it didn’t happen over night.

After spending the last decade running my own business consulting for companies and corporations, I have witnessed it all. Here’s seven of the most common mistakes I’ve seen newbie entrepreneurs make with alarming consistency. To read more, click here

 
 
Seasoned business owners become proficient over the years at keeping good records and realizing when expenses have a legitimate business purpose. For some, this thought process becomes so ingrained that it becomes almost impossible to buy something without first considering a tax purpose for that item or service. To read more, click here
 
 
Knowing how to share parts of who you are — in beautiful, memorable ways — stumps many of us. Think of all the times you’ve heard the dreaded question: “So, what do you do?” at a cocktail party, and were not sure what to say.

What holds us back from answering is often a disconnection from our narratives—the story that tells the listener where you’re from, who you are, and where you’re going. Your narrative is not just a powerful source of connection for strangers over drinks, it’s also an effective tool for personal growth. To read more, click here

 
 
More than ever before, publishers are being approached by business people who want to write non-fiction books that relate to what they are selling. The strategy behind becoming a published author has stronger return on investment than any other small-business marketing idea. To read more, click here
 
 
This tale begins in Nebraska. From 1973 to 1981, the Midwest experienced an explosion in farm prices, caused by a widespread belief that runaway inflation was coming and fueled by the lending policies of small rural banks. Then the bubble burst, bringing price declines of 50% or more that devastated both leveraged farmers and their lenders. Five times as many Iowa and Nebraska banks failed in that bubble's aftermath as in our recent Great Recession. To read more, click here
 
 
We all know networking has the potential to dramatically enhance our careers; making new connections can introduce us to valuable new information, job opportunities, and more. But despite that fact, many of us are doing it wrong — and I don’t just mean the banal error of trading business cards at a corporate function and not following up properly. Many executives, even when they desperately want to cultivate a new contact, aren’t sure how to get noticed and make the right impression. To read more, click here. 
 
 
Bernhard Haux is a “character technical director,” which in his case means he models characters and works on their internal motions (I think--I didn’t fully grasp the lingo). Which means he is just a small piece in the larger Pixar machine, but a piece that’s aware of what everyone else is doing too. He’s worked on major movies such as Up,BraveMonsters U, and others in the last six years. To read more, click here
 
 
We live in a culture of urgency, constantly throwing our emotional energy into the latest public scandal, emergency, or cat video. Most of us work in always-switched-on companies where everything feels urgent. Call backs, emails, and meetings are wrought with peak energy. How quickly do you expect a response to an email or changes to a report? To read more, click here